Portsmouth Buddhist Center

Religion Without God, Part 2: Sex and Morality - Going Beyond Puritanism

On Fri, 12 October, 2012 - 22:09
Candradasa's picture
In the second talk in his ‘Religion Without God’ series, Candradasa considers the origins of negative views of the body and its desires in relation to spiritual life, as seen through the prism of Puritanism and its influences.

Tracking the Platonic ideal through St. Augustine we get a sense of the conditioning we seek to move away from as Buddhists while still wrestling with the key questions posed by our own experience of the connection between desire and suffering.

The third precept and the Buddha’s moral code generally are explored, and we get some sense of where we might look to find ways to work effectively with our strongest desires - order to lessen attachments and help us see reality more clearly.

Log in or register to take part in this conversation


Melissa's picture
This was a great talk. I’ve been thinking about “space” since then– even told my 9 year old to “pause” before he jumped into more food!
It was also helpful for me to expand my first reaction definition of “sex” to include more than physical desire - but emotional & intimacy desires. Frankly, I doubt my physical desires have caused harmed, but potentially my emotional neediness has been overwhelming to others. There you go– I posted!
Candradasa's picture
Thanks, Melissa! Glad you liked it and took time to respond! Yes, desire and intimacy, emotional needs (and neediness), physical affection, all that - a fascinating area when we think about it in terms of the self we create and the world we create through expression of all these things. I find it a relief not to have to think of it all literally with a model of giant cosmic forces like God, the Devil, Salvation, etc. As you seem to experience, ‘space’ seems more fitting as a way of approaching it, is so straightforward even a wee boy can get a feel for it!